Monday, January 30, 2017

Reminiscing Siem Reap: Retail Therapy

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February 1, 2014 | Siem Reap, day three | Part two

"The need for social interaction is very much a part of why women shop."
- Stella Minahan and Michael Beverland
Why Women Shop: Secrets Revealed

Siem Reap, to Di, Rai, Yani, and I, was more synonymous with historical and cultural aspects than retail industry. Surprise, surprise, the town offered a myriad of goods for everybody. Even those with no intention to shop, like Di and I, ended up with a number of mementos. Undoubtedly, Rai and Yani, the sagacious consumers, found the greatest bargains.

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All of us were especially in love with the handicrafts made by the Khmer artisans. My favourite: silk necklaces. For Khalish, I brought home a magnet featuring a local child's art.

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From the alleys of the town, we moved to Phsar Chas. The Old Market was teeming with various vendors, sectioned according to their products. Curious, the four of us roamed the place before naturally stopping at the fabric area. There happened "the need for social interaction" as the experts shared their knowledge on Cambodian textiles and the travellers negotiated for the best deal.

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We concluded our retail therapy in the evening. The destination: night market. The crowd was adrenalised by the exuberant vibe. Had the four of us not booked a spa session, we surely would stay there until midnight. Just to leisurely walk along the aisles of unique items and blissful people, enjoying the whole atmosphere.

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Reminiscing Siem Reap: Shinta Mani & Park Hyatt

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February 1, 2014 | Siem Reap, day three | Part one

Truly free and easy. Di, Yani, and I followed Rai to two hotels for their respective interiors, designed by the firm she has been affiliated to. Oh, the four of us loved the new perspectives formed from both visits.


The first visit: Shinta Mani Resort. Chic and classic. Various elements of art added exuberance to the whole concept. Rai casually talked about interior design as Di, Yani, and I admired each detail of the place. 

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One Cambodian aspect we also experienced there was the people's warmth. Even after explaining that the four of us were neither media representatives nor guests, we were cordially welcomed by the personnel. Thank you ❤


Next: Park Hyatt. Luxurious yet cosy. Uniqueness at every corner, too. Our favourite was the preserved 100-year old banyan tree at the center of the courtyard. I personally relished the artistic values.

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Again, Di, Rai, Yani, and I were asked by a personnel whether we represented any media. Must be my DSLR camera and our aura ;D. To our surprise, the personnel offered a brief personal tour around the hotel. Your amiability was a delight, Mr. Tang. 

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Relaxed, we cancelled our stay at Frangipani Villa Hotel II and booked a two-bedroom pool suite at Park Hyatt lounged at the terrace of The Dining Room. We talked, we laughed, and we chillaxed. All over Khmer coffee, tropical fruit juices, and nuts. 

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One fine day, we will experience more of you, Park Hyatt. As in-house guests 😉. More of Siem Reap later.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reminiscing Siem Reap: Smile of Angkor

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Siem Reap again. Wishing to experience more of Cambodian cultures, Di, Rai, Yani, and I welcomed Sadam's recommendation to watch Smile of Angkor. Yes, Sadam, the first local we interacted with upon exiting Siem Reap International Airport, brought us to the grand theater a day later. The view from the tuk-tuk fascinated us; along the way, the locals picnicked at both sides of the road, enjoying the time with loved ones as the sun beautifully set.

The magic continued when the show began. Commercialised, but there were more aspects that made Smile of Angkor aesthetic. Facts and folk tales were gracefully interwoven with classic dances, namely apsara dance, peacock dance, and shiva dance, and traditional martial art, bokator. Having visited Angkor Archaeological Park and acquired the history of ancient Khmer, we were able to further appreciate the whole performance.

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